In 1981 Charlaine Harris's first novel Sweet & Deadly, was published, followed in 1984 by A Secret Rage. The reception of these two stand-alone, southern based mystery novels was mediocre and the books quickly went out of print. Life for Ms. Harris (who goes by her married name in real life) continues, as life will, but she kept writing while raising her children.
Then, in 1990 her first Aurora Teagarden mystery, Real Murders was published as a cozy and sold well. Real Murders was followed by 8 other Aurora Teagarden mysteries.
By the time she was finished with that series, Ms. Harris had started another southern-based cozy mystery starring Lily Bard and set in Shakespeare Arkansas. There were five books in that series and Lily and Jack make a cameo appearance in one of the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire books.
In 2001 Dead Until Dark was released at the advent of the new paranormal romance rage of the early 2000s through the present. The tales of Sookie Stackhouse, telepathic cocktail waitress and her shape-shifting boss, Sam Merlotte, her boyfriend, Vampire Bill and later Shreveport vampire bar owner, Eric Northman was a hit. Alan Ball optioned the series for adaptation into an HBO series which has been quite profitable for Ms. Harris despite the fact that very early on in the show the characters deviated wildly from their "origins" in her novels and the addition of several characters created wholly by Alan Ball (Jessica). IDW optioned the HBO series for graphic novel expansion/adaptation.
In 2005 Grave Sight was published to start a series of 4 novels featuring Harper Connelly and Tolliver Lang. The series came to a conclusion with book 4, An Ice Cold Grave. Book one, Grave Sight, was adapted into graphic-novel format quite poorly; there are no announced plans to adapt the other 3 novels.
With all 4 of her series wrapped up, Ms. Harris has a new graphic-novel co-written with Christopher Golden: Cemetery Girl, due to start in January 2014 as graphic novel, not individual issues.